Radical behaviourism and critical inquiry

Authored by: Maria R. Ruiz

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182


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When we speak of the perspective in psychology that has come to be known as behaviourism, we must clarify that this assignation has been applied to characterize several psychological models that emerged over the first half of the twentieth century in the United States, including classical behaviourism, cognitive behaviourism, and radical behaviourism. Our discussion here will concern the dominant and perhaps most controversial of these, B. F. Skinner’s (1945) radical behaviourism, the philosophy of science underpinning operant psychology, and the fast expanding field of applied behaviour analysis. But before turning our focus to radical behaviourism, let us briefly introduce each of the three branches and distinguish amongst them.

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